Help with an possible eye infection and an incorrect diagnosis of a skin infection


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Chameleon: Panther 5 months; Male
Cage: 36x36x48
Stool: Regular(White & Blackish Brown)
Feeding: mealworm, crickets
Supplements: ReptiCal without D3 (everyother day)*We also rotate this with ReptiCal with D3 everyother month;Gut load with Flukers & Apples
Lights: UVB 5.0 + 50 watt heating lamp
Humidity Level: 45-65% With a vicks humidifer
Temperature Range: 60-75 *Were trying to get levels higher by adding a heater, but that dries the humidity so
Plants: 1 very large Ficus; and a hybiscus bush
Misting System: Spray 2 times in the AM & 2 times in the PM + Bubbler water system & Bi-Weekly showers for 30 mins

Recently we took Big Boy to the vet because he had some sort of growth on the side. The doctor told me it was a small skin infection to clean it with and silver sulfadiazine cream 1%. We have had this growth for 2 months now and its scabed over and nearly gone. He's shed once with it. I am posting the pictures of it up. i think whats bother some is just the fact that the vet (reptile & exotics doctor) did not throughly in my opinion diagnosis his issue.
So I wont be going back to see him for Big Boy's next appointment.

Now we have come to notice that he has been moving his eye about in specifc his left eye in a bulging manner. We are aware that it is normal for chameleons to do this in order for them to clean out their eyes. We are also thinking it could possibly be the chlorine that is in our facet water that we've been using to spray down his cage. anywho we are just concerned that it might be something more than that. His eye is bulging on and out and when he moves it you can see that red muscle that protudes from the eye ball socket. We are posting pictures of this as well.

If anyone is in the houston area and knows a good reptile vet with experience in handling chameleons (and I am sure there is one out there, I just havent found him or her yet) could you please relay the message.

I think we are being paranoid. My boyfriend and I love our little guys. We also have two other carpet chameleons. So just want to provide the best care for them as much as we possibly can.

Thanks Guys,

Leeanne Stevens


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these are the other pictures of the eye issue


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you may want to move your basking lamp 6-12 inches away from the nearest branch. He may get a thermal burn. The eye bulging in and out seems normal. From the pictures I see hes wet. My guy does the eye bulge and rubs his eye on a plant sometimes when he gets water in his eye.
Perhaps someone with more experience will chime in here but I would take him into the vet as soon as you can and consider yourself lucky for having caught it early. While I agree it is normal for them to bulge out their eyes when cleaning them the seemingly permanent distortion of his right eye lid is worrisome.
I would recommend Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists. A friend of mine says they are around.
I would certainly take him in, one thing with eye infections is that they can easily spread in the chameleon. The Vet will prescribe a topical and/or an injectable or oral antibiotic.
Is your basking on the side of your cage? I know this might sound stupid but could you cham have gotten a burn from the screen being hot on the side? Are you sure the "growth" wasnt a burn where the skin buckled?
I would recommend Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists. A friend of mine says they are around.

I would try this vet Jann posted, she even has a reference;) It could be an infection or it could just be something in there irritating it. The thing about eyes is damage can be done quickly. Better safe then sorry I say.

Your boy is gorgeous by the way!
Ok we are taking him to Gulf Coast he has an appointment at 11 am today. thank you guys for all you comments I will let you know how it goes
The vet prescribed Tobramycin Eye Drops & Albon oral antibiotic she also said she thinks the "growth" was just a burn and he's going to have a scar from it I changed out his heat lamp again. I really think those bulbs suck, we got one 4 months ago *arent you suppose chagne them out every 6 months???. We have to change another one out because its made the side of our cage too hot and I dont want big boy to get another burn. The lamp is 8 inches away. He's had that size cage since we got him at 2 months and as a result we've suffered from the consequences of housing a small chameleon in a super huge cage(low humidity levels, plants dying, lighting & misting issues). We are still working on ways to improve it.

He does have the beginning signs of an eye infection. One eye is obviously more swollen than the other, plus when the vet tech placed the eye drops in his eye he went into a fit and she was able to see what I had been talking about.

I feel awful. He's such a great chameleon. Everytime we are near his cage he moves toward us and crawls on us :) he has a very good temperament. I wish there was something I could do to prevent all these infections. I clean his cage by picking up the dead crickets & rotting leaves. We always wash out hands before we handle him & we supplement his food.
If anyone has any tips on how to avoid eye infections & bacetrial infections & fungus infections please let me know. I havent the slightest clue on how he got this one. :(

Thank you very much for the vet reference. They were nice & friendly and well adjusted in treating my baby :) the vet wasnt too awful in trying to explain why she wasn't giving me an injectable eye antibiotic and instead just giving eye drops. she kindly said it wasn't severe enough. I had a mommy moment & almost slapped her. But then she said if it gets worse bring him back and they will take care of it. :)

So thank you all very much for all the great advice :) Its scary owning these guys because not alot of people know about them. I love using this sight as a reference tool.

~Ms. Stevens
I've got to tell you I do not like Albon. Why did she put him on that? Did he have coccidia. Did she do a fecal and tell you that he had parasites?
Why do you have your basking bulb on the side of the cage? Put it on the top and just use an ordinary housebulb like a 50-60 watt is good. Your UVB light would not and should not cause a burn if you are using the correct one. They do need to be changed out every 6-12 months. I went somewhere in between and changed mine at 9 months. What are you using for your uvb. Most of use the Reptisun 5.0 tube and if you put your hand under the screen where it is lit it does not give off barely any heat. You want your basking temp to be 85-90 for an adult panther. Edit: sorry I went back and looked at your first post and saw that you are using a 5.0 uvb. sorry! But as far as the "heat bulb" an ordinary housebulb works fine and you change them out when they burn out!!!
They did not do a fecal sample. I have one to offer, she didnt even ask me if I needed one. She said Albon was a wide spread antibiotic, and as far as the heat lamp we are switch as we speak. We had been using a basking bulb reptisun 50 watt, so we thought that was pretty descent. We moved the heat lamp from the top of the cage to the side of the cage because that's when he first got the alleged "burn". We are still not sure what it is because no one has taken any samples. The two vets that we have now taken him to have both thought it likely to have been a burn with no conclusive evidence. the vet doctor said that it was a possible fungus and presribed the Iodin cream and solution to treat it. It does not look to promising for his eye. We gave 2 drops successfully, he went to bed before we gave the 3. Tried to give it to him, he refused to open his infected eye so we simply put a drop and hoped it "sink" in if thats even logical. Hopefully it will look more promising in the morning. We are currently using distilled water to mist all of our chameleons.
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